The house is quiet, Austin City Limits is on PBS and I have my cup of tea. Perfect time to post in my blog. In case anyone is keep track, my tea tonight is Tazo Wild Sweet Orange. One of my favorites.
Dinner tonight was a triumph of planning and timing. I decided a few days ago that I wanted steak on the grill. I also decided that since I haven’t made kugel for a while, that would be a good side dish. Cooking on the grill for me almost always means corn on the cob so that was on the menu as well. Accomplishing all this was the challenge.
I knew at the outset that the shopping and the cooking were going to have to be on two separate days. It was going to be a lot of cooking, plus I wanted to get the steaks from the local butcher instead of the supermarket. My reasons for going to the butcher were two-fold. First, I like to support local businesses whenever I can. Second, the steaks are better.
I enjoy grocery shopping anyway, but I thought since this was going to be a special meal, I was going to make the shopping for it an event in itself. We could go out to lunch, go to the butcher’s, then the supermarket. Since my wonderful wife is out of town. it was just my step daughter and myself.
For lunch we went to Murdock’s. It is one of my favorite taverns and it has some of the best food in town. Lunch was beer-battered catfish, fries and jalapeno cheese grits. I grew up in the Midwest. so what do I know from grits. I tried them when I was at Murdock’s a couple of weeks ago, and frankly, they were a revelation. I can’t believe I have spent my whole life not eating grits. Well, they were 90% of the reason we went there for lunch. The other 10% was the catfish. I grew up on the cornmeal-breaded variety like most people. But take that same catfish and dip it in beer batter, it is a whole new thing. Amazing.
Feeling sufficiently fed, we headed off to Hayes Meats to pick up the steaks. Hayes provides a nice selection of steaks including grass-fed beef and bison. I picked out a nicely-marbled NY strip. My step daughter picked out a small rib-eye for herself. They had a good sale on bacon, so I picked up some of that as well, but that is for another meal. Then it was off to the supermarket for the rest of the ingredients, and finally home.
If this sounds like a lot for me to do in one day, it was. It took all of yesterday to recover. That left the meal for today.
Part of the planning, took into account how the cooking would be done. The kugel, a combination of noodles, eggs and cottage cheese, for example could be done first because it bakes for nearly an hour in the oven. The corn could be shucked and left sitting in salted water waiting to be turned on when the steaks go on the grill. Being able to spread these tasks out gives me time to rest in between so I am not spending the whole time on my feet.
The steaks were easy. All they really needed was some ground ancho and chipotle chiles, then onto the grill. Since the grill was on, I threw some hotdogs and bratwurst on as well, so we can have those for tomorrow.
The result was that everything was delicious. More importantly, we had a wonderful meal, and I survived to tell the tale.